• Published 9th Apr 2015
  • 12,012 Views, 48 Comments

Not A Trick? - trevordark



You have another unexpected encounter with Adagio, but something is different... Now Sunset is involved?

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Wait, what?

You shiver a little at the chilling winter breeze, tugging on your jacket collar and re-wrapping your scarf around your neck as you walk down the lonely, snow-plowed road. You'd gotten up early today to begin your morning route, but instead of heading to work like most days, you're simply walking just for the sheer enjoyment of it. Your footfalls seem to echo in this small suburban neighborhood. Strange that it's so quiet here, even though it's the morning of Christmas Eve.

Months have passed since the events of that night, but you've scarcely managed to go a day without remembering it in one way or another. Most of it had been a complete blur, but you can still faintly recall the mixed feelings of bliss and despair. Somehow, you'd managed to fall asleep that night, knowing you'd never be the same. The last thing you could remember was waking up alone on an empty mattress and stumbling out of the school. They had apparently left the door unlocked for you. It made no sense to you.

Maybe they had second thoughts about my world after all...

You're suddenly brought back to the present when you feel something cold and wet against your face. You look up, not quite in tune with what's going on around you until it occurs to you that it's started snowing again.

"It's really coming down thick this time..." You muse with a feeble smile, examining the now hazy neighborhood surrounding you. Pulling off your hat, you stand there silently for a while, eyes closed, just taking it all in. You breathe deeply, your lungs protesting a little at the cold, but it's refreshing all the same. You always loved doing this when it snowed, even as a child.

You begin to reminisce about the last Christmas you had back on your home world before the war. You were hardly a teenager back then. The crackling fire, hot cocoa, and spending quality time with your family... Those were some of the happiest moments of your life, but it was not allowed to last and the draft happened the very next month. You hadn't celebrated Christmas in the eight years since then, nor any other holiday for that matter. There just wasn't a point anymore.

"I think it's time..." You whisper to no one in particular, deciding that you're finally going to celebrate it this year, in this new world.

Eventually, you replace your hat back on your head and continue walking for another block or so before noticing two redhead girls coming up the street in your direction. You abruptly stop in your tracks, being quite unable to process what you're seeing. One of them is clearly Sunset, but the other one... "That's not possible..." You mutter aloud.

It's Adagio, but why is she with Sunset?

You suddenly realize how suspicious you probably seem right now and you start walking again so they don't see you just standing there, looking completely dumbfounded.

Re-wrapping your scarf so it somewhat conceals part of your face, you continue to observe the two as they approach from a distance. Sunset is doing most of the talking while Adagio walks at her side, hands in her coat pockets and head down, only asserting a few words here and there. You notice that her voice is surprisingly devoid of its usual sultry tone. You recognize it but it's much softer, not unlike Sunset's own voice. A slight smile curves up her mouth at Sunset's words, but her teary, bloodshot eyes speak a much different story.

Regret... Hers is a facial expression that you're no stranger to yourself. Buried somewhere deep inside her chest, it's consuming what little happiness she owns like some disheveled parasite, and she could not be making it any more obvious.

She's going through hell...

You'd heard about the outcome of the Battle of the Bands and for some reason, you'd hoped that the three of them would be okay, even after what they'd done to you.

You feel your heart pounding worriedly as they come close.

Please don't recognize me, please don't recognize me... Your mind reels as Sunset turns to you with a warm smile. "Merry Christmas!" She exclaims as they pass by, Adagio casting a quick acknowledging glance into your direction before quickly doing a double-take immediately afterwards. Your eyes widen in terror as you hear a muffled gasp and the footfalls behind you abruptly scuffle to a halt. You continue walking as nonchalantly as possible, but you can almost feel her staring back at you in disbelief.

"Anon?" She asks timidly after a short pause and you quicken your pace a little in response. "Hey, wait!" she calls and you turn your head to see her running toward you. You face her, panicking like a deer in headlights as she suddenly plunges into you and wraps her arms around in a tight hug. "I'm sorry!" She sobs, burying her head into your shoulder. "Oh dear Celestia, I'm so sorry..." You struggle frantically to break free from her tight embrace, fearing a repeat of the events from that night.

"Please don't touch me, Adagio!" You cry as she lets you go and you stumble back a few paces.

"Please, I won't hurt you!" she yelps, " I..." She lowers her head as she tries to hold back more tears. "I'm so s-sorry, Anon..." She stands there, eyes glued to the sidewalk below, hugging her arms. Who the hell is this girl standing in front of you? She couldn't be the same one from months ago.

"Anon," Sunset walks up next to Adagio and places her hands on her friend's shoulders. "Adagio and her friends reached out to me a couple months after the Battle of the Bands. They wanted to make amends with everyone for what they'd done, especially you." She turns to Adagio, who is still silently weeping. "I can't even begin to tell you the changes she's gone through since then and how badly she's been wanting to apologize. She's been looking for you for months." She rubs her friend's shoulders comfortingly. "Don't be sad, Dagie...."

"I-I'm not..." She finally raises her head back up and meets your eyes. "I'm just so glad you're still alive... When we couldn't find you for so long, I got worried..." You cock your head a little at her statement.

'What is she talking about? Does she mean...?'

"I was afraid that you'd..." She lowers her head again, unable to finish her sentence, but she's made it fairly clear that she thought you'd committed suicide. Thinking back, you remember how even in your world, some people would have done that after what you'd gone through. You'd never thought of it, however. You always reminded yourself that you could have been a lot worse off than being molested by a raveningly beautiful girl. You'd even considered yourself lucky, though it didn't change the fact that you had been terrified of her ever since. However, something about this encounter bothered you.

"...Why?" You ask, bewildered by her sudden change in personality and she looks up at you tentatively, unsure of what you mean. "Why was it so important for you to find me?" You elaborate, "Is this some sort of trick-"

"No! I-..." Adagio trails off, "Anon, I know there's nothing we can do to make up for what happened. I just know that I can't leave you wondering if we ever regretted it. We do..." She looks back down to her feet, "And I'm not just saying this to make myself feel better for what happened. After our pendants were destroyed, I realized just how awful we were to you. We tortured you, Anon. No one should have to go through that."

Still skeptical, you glance between Adagio and Sunset a few times. You know you can trust Sunset, but you're afraid Adagio might have something sinister going on behind her new personality. Still, you're a sucker for second chances. You know you had plenty in the past as well.

Let's see how it plays out.

Timidly approaching, you put your arms around her in a gentle embrace. Her eyes dart open in surprise as this is something she had never expected from you, but she eagerly returns the gesture, nearly squeezing the air out of your lungs. Once again, she buries her head into your shoulder and sobs quietly, but not because she's sad. In fact, it's quite the opposite. "It's okay, Ad-... Dagie." You hesitate slightly before saying her nickname, but she tightens her grasp around you a little in response, eliciting a heartfelt smile from Sunset.

She pulls back after a long while, wiping the tears from her eyes and she begins to smile. "Thank you so much." She finally says, meeting your eyes again. "Aria and Sonata wanted to apologize as well..." She trails off as you shift uneasily at the thought of meeting with the three of them altogether.

Sunset brightens up as she's struck with an idea. "There is a Christmas party going on tonight at Canterlot High. All of us will be there."

"That's true... It would mean the world to them if you could come." Adagio tilts her head at you with a smile. At this, Sunset eagerly nods at you with an approving look.

"Yeah, I'll come." You reply, wondering how safe it would be to meet up with the three of them all at once. At least there will be more people there.

"Thank you, Anon..." Adagio smiles, throwing her arms around you once more. Your heart melts a little and you sigh as you feel hers beating fast against your chest.

Safe enough, I suppose...